The number of bicyclists in Florida continues to increase each year. While bicycling is an affordable, efficient means of transportation, it’s not always the safest. When bicycle-vehicle accidents occur, cyclists almost always come out on the losing end and suffer significant injuries, especially when the vehicles involved in the collision are large.
According to ABC 25, an adult male bicyclist was killed in a collision involving a tow truck at A1A and East Riverside Drive. Reports say the cyclist, who was traveling west, went across the intersection and violated the right of way of the tow truck that was traveling northbound on A1A. The tow truck hit the bicycle. The bicyclist was pronounced dead at the scene.
Tow trucks are able to produce significant impact when they collided with another vehicle, bicyclist, or a pedestrian. Since tow trucks have the capacity to haul large, heavy vehicles, they are heavy and large themselves, making them capable of causing enormous damage. When a bicycle collides with a tow truck, the weight and size difference between the two can cause devastating and even fatal injuries to the cyclist, even if the biker wears a helmet during the impact.
Cyclists, just like any other group of people using the road, are required to obey the rules of the road. Tow trucks are considered as emergency vehicles, and Florida’s move over law states that civilian road users must yield the right of way to approaching emergency vehicles that are en route to meet an existing emergency.
If emergency vehicles have no activated emergency flashing lights and siren and are not responding to an emergency call, the rules of the road at an intersection still apply. This means that one vehicle must yield to the other vehicle that has the right of way at an intersection.
In the recent fatal bicycle accident in Jupiter, the police report says the cyclist violated the right of way of the tow truck. However, this does not automatically bar the estate of the deceased cyclist from attempting to recovering damages. Speaking with a Florida personal injury attorney would help the victim’s family understand their legal options.